Hello, Sunshine! That’s what we said when we first saw the cute selfie video former Dance Moms star turned music video muse Maddie Ziegler posted to her Instagram on April 24 — because the 16-year-old is absolutely glowing.
“Cringe,” she captioned the vid where she “smizes” to the camera, throwing us a coy look over her shoulder and tossing her gorgeous blonde locks. Yes, that’s definitely “smizing” — a.k.a. smiling with your eyes, a modeling term coined famously by Tyra Banks. Maddie is applauded for her ability to communicate emotion in her face and it has long proven her to be one of the best dancers in her age group.
In fact, the praise originally came from her days on the hit Lifetime Network show Dance Moms, where she was the star dancer in a competition troupe based out of Pittsburgh. Since then, she’s skyrocketed to stardom — but it turns out she doesn’t have much love for her roots.
The dancer recently confirmed to Life & Style that she and her former coach, Abby Lee Miller, no longer have a relationship. “No, I’m not in contact with her anymore,” she revealed on Saturday, April 6, at Ending Youth Homelessness: A Benefit for My Friend’s Place.
In a way, we don’t blame Maddie for keeping her distance — the famous instructor was known for being less than warm with both the kids and their moms — but it’s also a bit sad to hear the finality in their relationship. The 52-year-old definitely did see her student’s overwhelming potential, but the pressure on her to succeed seemed pretty rough to deal with. Eventually, both Maddie and her little sister, Mackenzie Ziegler, left the show in 2016 before season 7.
Since they parted ways on reality show terms, Abby has dealt with some pretty devastating health issues that have lead to her using a wheelchair and trying her best to maintain a normal life. Though they aren’t speaking anymore, we hope Maddie is at least sending some good vibes to her former mentor.